The Excellence of Play

The Excellence of Play

The Excellence of Play

The Excellence of Play

Synopsis

Review of the first edition"a fine and refreshing collection of articles... Each chapter is integrated closely with the others, [making] The Excellence of Play easy to dip into as well as presenting readers with the opportunity to read in more detail about aspects of play theory in practice that particularly interest them... This is exactly the kind of practical information and structure that teachers need." BERJ"the book is highly recommended for both students and practitioners who are interested in developing their understanding of play in early childhood." Early Years journalThis second edition ofThe Excellence of Playencapsulates all the many changes that have taken place in early childhood in the last decade. It examines the vital importance of play as a tool for learning and teaching for children and practitioners, supporting all those who work in early childhood education and care in developing and implementing the highest quality play experiences for young children. All the contributors are experts in their fields and all are passionate about the excellence of play. While the importance of curriculum and assessment is retained and extended, this edition features many new contributions, including: Children as social and active agents in their own play More background to current research on play theory and practice Practitioners' roles in play and adults' enabling of play Links with the Foundation Stage (including legislation and policy) Links with the first years of school and beyond Outdoor and physical play, including rough and tumble Gender differences Play and observation/assessment Special Educational Needs and play The Excellence of Playprovides a powerful argument that a curriculum which sanctions and utilizes play is more likely to provide well-balanced citizens of the future, as well as happier and more learned children in the present. It is essential reading for all early years students and practitioners. Contributors: Lesley Abbott, Siân Adams, Angela Anning, Pat Broadhead, Tina Bruce, Tricia David, Dan Davies, Bernadette Duffy, Aline-Wendy Dunlop, Carey English, Hilary Fabian, Rose Griffiths, Nigel Hall, Stephanie Harding, Jane Hislam, Alan Howe, Helen Jameson, Neil Kitson, Ann Langston, Janet Moyles, Theodora Papatheodorou, Linda Pound, Sacha Powell, Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Peter K. Smith, David Whitebread.

Excerpt

Jack (6 years old) and George (nearly 3 years old) are playing 'safari' in the garden.

This consists mainly of chasing visiting cats, stalking various bird inhabitants, 'speaking' (in squeak language) to a couple of resident squirrels and generally stomping around the garden with magnifiers hunting a range of mini-beasts. They suddenly decide that this imaginative game is worth extending: Jack thinks they need a safari vehicle and George wants a picnic! Together they plan what they need and ask the adult to help them. The partially written and mainly oral lists consists of: a tent; compass; a safari vehicle; biscuits; chocolate buttons; jam sandwiches; orange juice and water; a camera; animal books; and paper and felt pens. Having acquired all the small items in self-selected old ice-cream tubs, they rush out into the garden again and requisition the upside-down garden table as a vehicle. Somehow, however, this doesn't suit the current mood and the adult is asked if she can think of a way of 'making this [the table] better'. The table is set upright and covered with two old sheets. Suddenly, transformation for the children: the table becomes both vehicle and tent. George now decides that inside needs some blankets and cushions to make it cosier. Jack decides on windows and, rather than draw on the sheet (which he could have done), he draws five windows and a front grille with name on the previously acquired paper and fetches sticky tape to attach his drawings. Once done, he helps George to count windows and they withdraw into the vehicle/tent, taking 'photographs' (with an old camera) through the gaps. There is a shriek when they find their very own 'animal' under the table with them – a spider! – which is carefully transported to the nearest bush on a spare piece of paper. Then after some more safari hunts around the garden they withdraw to the tent for a 'sleep'.

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